Philosopher Paul Taylor and naturalist Aldo Leopold have argued against a wholly instrumentalist view of nature, one where the value of nature and its inhabitants is entirely dependent upon nature’s ability to meet human needs and desires. This talk, by Dr. Allyson L. Robichaud, will focus on the works of Taylor and Leopold and the arguments each makes justifying the view that humans bear an ethical obligation to develop and sustain an attitude of respect for nature, and how doing so would promote positive changes for our environment. Attention will be paid to ways of advocating for attitudinal change as well as on the difficulties involved in bringing about change. While there have been improvements since the Cuyahoga River burned with some regularity, these are mostly the result of our thinking about human welfare without regard for the welfare of nature and its other inhabitants. Holding an attitude of respect for nature focuses our attention on nature, in and of itself, and thereby, our attendant obligations toward it and its inhabitants.
This event is sponsored by Cleveland State University and is free and open to the public.